Tags: "albatross"



Another sunny day. Currently, it's 41˚F

Also, another day that's left me feeling very odd. It began with a trip to the apartment building on 16th Avenue where I lived from December 1989 until April 1994. And...actually, I think I'm gonna save that part for tomorrow's entry. I need to wind down. So, later.

Another day spent reading my own stories – this time "Albatross (1994)" and "Untitled Psychiatrist No. 2" (written in October and February-March of 2017, respectively) – and reading an old handwritten journal (summer and early autumn 1990). So, weirdness on weirdness on weirdness. And then add to that going through a bunch of old photographs and...

I went with Spooky to Alabama Art Supply, where I'd not been since at least 2002.

We had Milo's for dinner.

And watched RuPaul.

And I haven't mentioned that we've been working our way through the whole of Game of Thrones again, in preparation for Season Eight. Somehow, we've made it to Season Seven in only about two weeks. We power binge. It's kinda scary.

I leave you with a bunch of childhood dinosaur books and the blue felt plesiosaur/Nessie that my mom gave me for Christmas.


2:08 p.m.
house of leaves

"Old man, don't lay so still. You're not yet young."

Cold and overcast. Currently, it's 37˚F, with the windchill at 32˚F. More snow tomorrow.

Yesterday, despite spending most of the day in bed, I managed to read through both "Albatross" (Sirenia Digest No. 141, October 2017) and then "Theoretically Forbidden Morphologies (1988)" (Sirenia Digest No. 140, September 2017) and made some line edits. I'm goiing to add the former to The Dinosaur Tourist Table of Contents, to replace one of the two stories I've decided to pull. I'm still undecided whether I want to use the latter to replace the other story of pulled. Maybe.

Today, I mean to finish "As Water Is In Water."

Weather willing, we're thinking we'll be leaving for Birmingham on the 16th, and I have a lot of work to do before then.

Night before last, we watched James Gray's The Lost City of Z (2016). Last night, we watched David Wain's A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018), then followed it, rather logically, with Caddyshack (1980), which I had managed somehow never to see. What a supremely bizarre film. But there are a handful of truly hilarious moments, and Bill Murray's war with the animatronic gopher is golden.

Aunt Beast

11:43 p.m.

Entry No. 5,160

Partly cloudy, partly sunny this morning. Currently, it's 50˚F. And November. I find November to be the first bleak month. It is the herald of all the other bleak months, and hope has trouble straying very far into November.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,460 words on "Albatross (1994)," and I reached THE END. Today, I have to proofread the story and pull together Sirenia Digest No. 141. The "all ghoul" issue has been moved to No. 142.

It was a decent enough Halloween. Not as good a day as was Monday, but passable. We made the best of it. There were tiny chocolate cupcakes with orange frosting, and Spooky carved out two enormous jack-o'-lanterns while I wrote. They both seem to have survived the night. We watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), then followed it with Roger Corman's overwrought and overlit House of Usher (1960), and then we saw Juan Carlos Medina's very enjoyable The Limehouse Golem (2016), and then three episodes of The Twilight Zone. And that was Halloween this year.

If I can get through today, I'm taking two days off, and I'll be taking this Outside. And then I have to come back and write a ghoul story, and then I have to get back to work on The Tindalos Asset, which is due on January 1, 2018.

Aunt Beast

4:44 p.m.
talks to wolves

"The sky is black, the moon is red. Here comes the dead."

Sunny today, the sky wide, blue, and carnivorous, a little wind. Currently, it's 55˚F. There are a lot of limbs and a few trees down from Sunday's storm, and I think a lot of South County is still without power.

Happy Halloween.

Against the odds, yesterday was actually a good day. Those happen so infrequently, I'm always surprised. It was in no way especially remarkable, and the various physical infirmities that plague me didn't relent, and no one sent money, and nothing of that sort. It was just a good day. I wrote 1,008 words on "Albatross," which has become "Albatross (1994)," because I wanted someone to be able to smoke in a coffeehouse, and nothing had occurred in the story to prevent the year being 1994. We were allowed to do that, when I was young, smoke in public places. Anyway, after the writing I had my appointment with my own old papers at the Hay, and we did that. I fished out the relevant documents and Spooky scanned them. We got Bucktown for dinner. We played a little Guild Wars 2. We watched a really excellent new episode of American Experience, Eric Stange's Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive, in which Denis O’Hare did a truly superb job of playing the writer. And then we watched a collection of five animated shorts based on Poe stories, Raul Garcia's Extraordinary Tales (2013). I highly recommend both.

So yes, a good day.

One of the things I'm doing with the forthcoming Centipede Press edition of Silk is letting readers see, for the first time, how Silk went through three very different incarnations. Nothing like this has ever again happened to me with a novel. I'd not yet become the writer who does not rewrite. Originally, Silk was a novel about a wannabe filmmaker named Lizzy, making a documentary about the iron mills of Birmingham, and Daria Parker was her girlfriend. That's the book I began sometime between October 7th and 11th, 1993. But then in August 1994, I was having trouble moving forward, and I stripped out Lizzy (she seems never to have had a surname) and, after asking Billy Martin's permission, replaced her with Eddy Sung, from Drawing Blood. And that's how I finished the book, in January 1996. But no sooner was it done than I began to be advised that my first novel ought not – for various reasons – be a spinoff of another writer's. So, in the first few months of 1996, I took out Eddy Sung and replaced her with Nikki Ky, whom you know if you've read the book. So, there you go, the three stages of the writing of Silk, and these will be discussed in greater detail within the appendices of the Centipede Press edition.

Time to make the doughnuts.

Aunt Beast

4:24 p.m.
house of leaves

“Voiceless it cries, wingless flutters, toothless bites, mouthless mutters.”

A terrible, wild night here in Providence. Driving rain and wind gusting to 65 mph. Today, there are leaves down all over and a great deal are without electricity in Rhode Island – almost a hundred thousand statewide, 66,000 here in Providence County alone. We were lucky. Though, for whatever reason, we have only lost power for any length of time here, in this house on this street, only once in more than nine years, despite hurricanes and nor'easters and blizzards. Spooky just told me that in New Hampshire, a gust of over 130 mph was recorded last night, at Mount Washington Observatory.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,255 words on "Albatross." Today, I'll work on it, then head over to the Hay afterwards, to scan documents related to Silk (which I have donated to Brown) for the forthcoming CP edition of the novel, including some of the many letters of rejection the book gathered up in the year (all of 1996) that was required for Richard Curtis Associates, Inc.* to sell the thing, despite glowing blurbs from Neil Gaiman, Peter Straub, Clive Barker, and Billy Martin, aka Poppy Z. Brite. Most of the rejection letters fawn over the novel, but confess they have no idea how to sell it, and "horror" is dying anyway, and how maybe I should write something else. This morning, I got an email from Sonya Taaffe, who bravely volunteered to proofread the ms.** resulting from the OCR scan. There are very many errors needing correction. Computers make poor transcribers.

It's still windy, with gusts up to 40 mph, but after last night, that seems calm. It's currently 54˚F.

Last night, what I thought was an especially good episode of Star Trek: Discovery, doing better with the time-travel thing than Star Trek usually has done. And there was the season finale of The Deuce, which might be the best thing presently on TV. I still quaintly call it TV. Or television. I likely always will.

Later Taters,
Aunt Beast

* I left RCA in the summer of '98, shortly after Silk was published, and moved to Writers House. It was a wise move. But RCA is still the agent of record for Silk, which is why there's no audiobook (for example).
** Against the 2008 mass-market paperback edition, from which it was scanned.

6:21 p.m.

"Nothing is gonna go back to the way it was. Not Really."

Overcast, hardly more than twilight out there, and it's 64˚F. The storm is coming. We have a wind warning, and could see gusts of 55mph. I hate this wind.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,068 words on "Albatross." Today, after I write, I have to attend to a long email from the woman who's translating Agents of Dreamland into Spanish, a lot of questions she needs answering. I do not know if I can be helpful.

Last night, we finished Stranger Things 2. I liked it even more than Season One, even if there was a wobble in Episode Seven – the recovery was quick and no damage was done. I have read that Season Three is already in production.

Aunt Beast

12:43 a.m.

"Breathe, sunflower, rainbow, 450, three to the right, four to the left, breathe."

Mostly sunny and 59˚F. We have a nor'easter on the way.

Yesterday, I finally got back to work and wrote 1,081 words on a new piece, titled "Albatross," for Sirenia Digest No. 141. Today, I have to work and the story and then deal with several other work-related things.

Last night, of course, we watched Stranger Things 2, the first six episodes. We are greedy kiddos. And we ate Eggos. Tonight we'll watch the last three. Season Two is even better than the first, and I wish there were more.

Oh, and we got our pumpkins yesterday. Two of them, as has become customary.

Aunt Beast

9:11 p.m.